The Bush Administration told Congress that it wouldn’t complete a rewrite of a 35-year-old regulation on vehicle roof strength requirements before leaving office. That came as no surprise. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters sent a letter to Congress saying that another deadline would be missed in issuing its update of the regulation. She said the government would need until April to complete its work. That means President-elect Barack Obama’s Administration will make a final decision on the issue. This is a blessing. However, this could re-open the entire question and delay the much-needed revision for months or even years. This was the third delay since June, when Secretary Peters said at that time the rules would not be finalized until October, citing the need for additional “regulatory analysis.” In October, she pushed the deadline back to December 15th. Then another delay was announced.
In October there was a split within the Bush Administration over the final regulation being written by NHTSA. Congress ordered NHTSA to rewrite the regulation in 2005 and gave it until July 1, 2008, to issue it. The Bush gang, which has been very weak on safety and health issues, was trying its best to weaken the standards on roof crush. Fortunately, there are enough folks in NHTSA who wouldn’t cave in on the issue. The requirements should be strengthened and hopefully that will now happen.
Source: Associated Press
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